… because you already are. Throughout the years, I’ve read many books about personal development. Whenever I was literally starving for more information about self-growth, there was an interesting book or website that helped me to take my own development to the next level. Nevertheless, the more I read about personality development, the more did I realize that some (!) of the personal development coaches and authors were not only focused on development but were more often striving for perfection instead.
Their books consisted of tens of thousands of words, but the words, “you are already perfect”, were nowhere to be found amongst them. Though, the basic statement that, “there are always aspects in your life to be improved” was relatively easy to spot within the context of their writings.
On one hand, I can totally understand the usage of statements such as, “there’s always something to be improved in life,” because the ambition to change something is the main foundation for all kinds of development. Without the ambition for change, there wouldn’t be any positive development, but resignation and stagnation would make their presence. On the other hand, I think that many take this statement way too serious and misinterpret the term “personal development” as a pursuit of perfection, personal perfection.
Not only do some of the authors consider perfection as job #1, when it comes to personal growth, but also those that frequent self-growth websites and consult personal development books have adopted this kind of mindset. The rally for perfection has begun and with it shifted the main focus, which no longer lies “just” on the improvement of one’s personality, but on the ambition to fine-tune every second of one’s daily routine, to control every aspect of life to the slightest details and to erase weaknesses and mistakes at best.
The term personal development is fairly broad and covers lots of different topics that are more or less connected with each other. Nevertheless, personal development shouldn’t become a strive for perfection and it definitely should not support a compulsive lifestyle, where it becomes trendy to discover and erase “weaknesses” obsessively, even if these “weaknesses” are just natural preferences of human beings for some sweets, an adequate amount of sleep, calmness, and comfortableness.
There is no need to be perfect
There is absolutely no need to be perfect, simply because you already are perfect. Striving for perfection, no matter of what kind, will set you on a journey, whose destination doesn’t even exist. I think it’s important to realize that you already have everything it takes to be happy in life because the only factor that happiness depends on is YOU! If you truly believe that you do not have everything it takes to be happy in life, please watch the following video…
If you so want, I would say that you are the only person on earth that is responsible for your happiness, but also the only one who can truly influence your inner happiness. You can concentrate throughout your life on the things you wish you had, the tangible things that you hope will make you happy, but doing so will make you forget the beauty of life you are already experiencing. You can easily hand over the responsibility for your own happiness to external sources in the hope that one day, fancy cars, a lot of money and tangibles, different partners or even “being seemingly perfect” will make you happy, but in the end there will be the realization that all these things will not make you any happier, if you aren’t able to be grateful for what you have, to elicit happiness within yourself and to enjoy the beauty of the moment.
“You keep on concentrating on the things you wish you had and on the things you wish you didn’t have and you sort of forget what you do have. (…) It’s a lie to think that you’re not good enough, it’s a lie to think that you’re not worth anything!”
~ Nick Vujicic
It’s okay not to be perfect, because “being perfect” is not real. It’s just wishful thinking, encouraged by superficial, seemingly perfect role models and celebrities that might seem to be perfect (superficially), but when looking at their lives, you can often see that they aren’t nearly as happy as they pretend to be. Striving for a false perfectionism distracts you from being the real you; being who you really are, saying what you think, wearing what you like and doing what you really want to do. Being real is what makes unique, being the real you is what makes you perfect.
I find that the people that are striving for perfection in their lives have unlearnt something very important: to acknowledge the worthiness of this very moment, to appreciate how things are right now and to use what they already have as a foundation for an even brighter future.
Something that I believe is very important is the realization that you already have everything you will ever need to be happy in life, right here at this very moment. Happiness is not a question of money, tangibles or attractive partners, but solely depends on your ability to be content with who you are, the things you were given in life and with what you already achieved in life.
There is no need to be perfect when you have the ability to lean back and appreciate the joy of the moment. To look at the wonderful colors of a sunset, to listen to the marvelous songs the birds are singing and to enjoy the presence of your loved ones and friends.
Life’s a wonderful miracle, but unfortunately, way too many people just take it for granted as it is. The thing is, that you only start to realize how wonderful your life is, when you are having a really bad time, are diseased, or see someone else’s terrible fate. Once you understand how unstable life is and how easy everything you had can collapse, you start to recognize how worthy your life is and that nothing of it is granted.
On the other hand, the majority of people haven’t gone through such a phase where they realize the worthiness of life – or are successfully closing their eyes from reality. Whatever it is that makes them think their life is not perfect enough, the end result is an insane lifestyle (“the bigger, the better”), while striving for riches, perfection and what else not. What sets you free is to realize that you don’t need fancy sports cars with golden rims, expensive designer clothes, mansions the size of a temple and red-hot gadgets to further improve your life.
Don’t get me wrong, everything on this list is nice to have and I’m sure that having a fancy car, such as a Mercedes SLS AMG is anything else than boring, but you shouldn’t go so far to let the price tag of a car influence your “happiness level.”
Once you accept that you don’t need to improve your life, once you realize that you are already perfect, your whole point of view will change and with it the way you look at your own life. It frees you and builds a reliable foundation for you, to start doing the things you truly want to do, not because you are striving for perfection, but because you simply love it. Not because you are trying to accomplish another person’s definition of “perfection”, but because you feel passionate about living your own ideal of a perfect life.
“You’re already perfect. Being content with yourself means realizing that striving for perfection is based on someone else’s idea of what ‘perfect’ is … and that that’s all bullshit. Perfect is who you are, not who someone else says you should be.”
~ Leo Babauta in You’re already perfect
When did you realize that there is no need to be perfect and how has it helped you in your life?